Miss [untitled]: learning to teach science to English language learners while navigating affordances and constraints : a longitudinal multiple case study
ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding them merit a thorough examination. This study examines the longitudinal changes in Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and practices of six early career science teachers who taught in urban schools. The teachers participated in the Alternative Support for Induction Science Teachers (ASIST) program during their initial two years of teaching. Our research team followed the participants over a five-year period. This study focuses on data from Years 1, 3, and 5. The data collected included classroom observations and interviews. In addition, classroom artifacts were collected periodically for the purpose of triangulation. The analysis of the data revealed that with the support of the ASIST program, the teachers implemented inquiry lessons and utilized instructional materials that promoted academic language skills and science competencies among their ELL students. Conversely, standardized testing, teaching assignment, and school culture played a role in constraining the implementation of inquiry-based practices. The results of this study call for collaborative efforts among university science educators and school administrators to provide professional development opportunities and support for the implementation of inquiry and language practices among early career science teachers of ELL students.